Quick Hits – February 5, 2020

Like I have nothing better to do than write another bleepin’ long one! So, please summon up your best Bette Davis impersonation (mine sucks), and with lit cigarette firmly ensconced between the first two fingers of your right hand, down a dry martini in one magnificent gulp, walk to the staircase, address your fellow man and woman thusly; “Fasten your seatbelts! It’s going to be a bumpy night!” and then swiftly ascend said stairway.

If you haven’t previously allocated the 138 minutes required to enjoy ‘All About Eve,’ then you don’t know what real cinema is!

Now that you’re appropriately prepared, let’s get on with it!

All About Eve


Unintended consequences!

Even after all this time, just like it is with that amazingly arbitrary tornado damage, I’m never sure exactly how a column will be received or interpreted. On the bright side, I suppose since we’re still somewhat unpredictable, it means the magic is still there!

Sometimes, all it takes is a seemingly innocuous line to set folks off, while pieces I firmly believed would rain hellfire down upon me receive nary a comment. But more often than not, the fallout is fun as it was with Friday’s diatribe about Kane County Judge Kevin Busch.

It would seem that a number of local attorneys read that piece, and, not only were they more than happy to provide the written Wayside Cross ruling Busch would not, but they unanimously concurred that his bench comportment was miserable and his penchant for being nasty for no good reason is beyond the pale.

I do appreciate all those fine legal folks who sent me that ruling.

The always fascinating consequence is, once someone finally states the obvious, as was the case here with Judge John Dalton, it serves as a rallying point for those folks formerly fearful of telling their own tale. So, now that the editorial ball is rolling, let’s hear your Judge Busch story.

As is always the case, anonymity is guaranteed.


Unintended consequences – Part 2!

But as I’m sure you might imagine, not all unintended consequences are fun. In fact, some suck! And one of those is the fact that I can’t seem to cover a courtroom story without a Daily Herald reporter or, worse yet, the judge confronting me.

And despite what some of y’all think, I never want to be the story.

Sure! I enjoy having a little fun with my predominantly middle school mentality, my vast whiteness, the fact that I’m an honorary Mexican, my utter lack of hair, the fact that the strangest shit happens to me, the Geneva Police Department’s abject devotion to me, my inability to discern buttons from snaps, my vast capacity to irritate people of import, and that I’m generally kinda surly.

But as far as being inserted into the stories I’m only trying to cover, that’s gonna end!

To wit, in an effort to follow up on Monday’s Quick Hits regarding the 15-year-old Batavia High School sophomore caught with bomb-making material being charged as an adult, my plan is to attend that February 27 court date.

Since the paperwork is always sealed in juvenile cases, the only way to determine if the judge will approve the prosecutor’s motion to move the case to adult felony court is by showing up. And as long as the judge hasn’t issued a specific caveat to the contrary, and we follow all the rules, fine upstanding members of the press like myself have the unabridged right to observe the proceedings.

Those rules include not disclosing the juvenile’s name and following any other gag order the judge might grant.

But because I can’t seem to attend a civil court hearing without a judge acting like two-year-old brat, or a criminal hearing without an overly obsessed Daily Herald reporter acting like a spoiled two-year-old, yesterday, I felt the need to call the Chief Judge’s office to explain that I would be in that juvenile courtroom on the 27th.

I politely noted that there should be no issue with court security, those fine Juvenile Justice Center staff members could certainly ask if was a member of the press, but nothing more, and, since I’ve never disrupted a court proceeding in my life, there should be absolutely no need for Judge Kathryn Karyannis to directly address me in court.

I know that sounds a lot like the latest iteration of Van Halen’s backstage concert demands, but the truth is, I shouldn’t have to ask for normal treatment. That’s why they call it “normal treatment!”

And people have the nerve to think I’m the problem?

Though I generally love irony, the beyond incredible oxymoron here is, I have to make myself part of the story in order to not be part of the story.

Here’s the bottom line, should anyone choose to confront me in public going forward, I will apply every written and legal remedy at my disposal to make them regret that choice. And that includes anyone getting out of hand on social media, too. Now that we understand each other, let’s move on to more important things!


Intended Consequences!

Those are always the best kind!

As a result of Friday’s civil courtroom festivities, having to pre-explain my pending juvenile courtroom coverage, and the fact that someone as despicable as Mike Noland somehow managed to get himself elected judge, rest assured, I will be fully involved in any future Kane County judicial election.

And if I’m not working for you…

I’ve said it before, we have some great judges in the 16th Circuit, and the previously posted list of the best of them wasn’t just me! It was the culmination of five years of discussions with local attorneys, prosecutors, judges and all manner of judicial center staffers.

Consider somewhat of an informal but thorough poll.

But as it is with any profession, there’s always room for improvement and that starts with getting good people elected. It’s one of the true joys of being an American citizen.


The Wayside ruling

Crap! My plan was to get to the ruling I struggled to get, but given the incessant morning interruptions, that’s not going to happen today. Suffice it to say that it isn’t worth the paper upon which it’s printed, and we will discuss it more fully in the very near future.

2 thoughts on “Quick Hits – February 5, 2020

  1. Sorry Jeff,
    Today’s column was like a Chicago politician. A lot of words but no substance.

    • Thomas,

      I know this isn’t my usual fare and it was directed at a very narrow audience, but after last Friday, I firmly felt that it needed to be said to preserve my own limited sanity.

      No readers is going to love every column I write.


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